Justice Heals: connecting survivors and shelter dogs

It’s not every day that you see a collaboration between the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Center for Survivors, but that’s what one program is helping bring together. The program is called Justice Heals and it’s providing sexual assault survivors support while giving shelter dogs a second chance at life. “[It’s] a journey that we would work with the survivors and dogs from start to their finishes or their destination,” said veterinary behaviorist Dr. Marie Hopfensperger, who helped found Justice Heals. Justice Heals is broken down into four steps starting with an initial meeting between the survivor and the dog evolving into gradual meetings like taking the dog for a walk. The final step is the potential to adopt the dog.

Using bones to solve the mystery

Michigan State’s College of Social Science offers 31 different undergraduate majors from economics to criminal justice to history. But, there’s one that goes a little deeper. “We go through the process where we create what’s called the biology profile where we look at the age, sex, ancestry and stature of the individual as estimated from their human skeletal remains,” Dr. Joe Hefner, an assistant professor in the Anthropology Department and Director of the MSU Forensic Anthropology lab, said. Dr. Hefner is a rare kind of professional, being one of about 130 board certified professionals in the country and the anthropology department is a rare kind itself. “We’re one of six PhD programs in the country,” Dr. Hefner said.

Abortion pills required at Cali. universities, Mich. opinions mixed

Abortions and women’s right to choose to get them or not is a hot topic in the country. California passed a bill that requires the California State University and University of California systems to offer abortion pills to students. A student takes two pills during the first ten weeks of pregnancy to induce a miscarriage. “We think this is a very bad idea,” Peri Pung, the President of Protect Life at MSU, said. But not everyone agrees.

ICE denies presence on Michigan State campus

A Michigan State University student tweeted early Thursday morning that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents were spotted in south neighborhood. Another tweet conversation shows two students talking about it. One person wasn’t sure if it happened that night, but says a resident assistant claimed this had happened within the last two weeks. Focal Point News reached out to ICE for more information. A spokesperson says they are not aware of any activity on campus.

Watch Focal Point: General Motors Strike, East Lansing rent increase and more

On this edition of Focal Point News, General Motors workers are on strike for equal benefits. Also, students moving into the newest East Lansing sky rise, The Hub, experienced some unexpected complications. Plus, East Lansing and Ann Arbor were listed in the top ten for fastests growing rent. 

In sports, Michigan State football had a homecoming date with Indiana last week, with a high scoring affair between the two teams. 

In entertainment, Spider Man is set to return to the big screen. 

These stories and more on Focal Point. 

Community college transfer pathway project undergoes phase two

State education officials are trying to make it easier for students to transfer from community colleges to the state’s four-year universities. They’ve already created a website for students to test their credits to see if they will transfer. Now they hope to restructure community college curriculum for popular degree programs before the end of the year. We talk to officials at Grand Valley State University and the Michigan Community College Association. By Evan Jones.

Esports gain popularity in high schools

Electronic sports, or esports, is on the rise in the country. With the rise in popularity, many school districts have added esports to their list of school sponsored sports. Okemos High School doesn’t offer esports as a sponsored sport, but Brian Fuller, the athletic director, see’s the potential. “Anything that can potentially add to the educational value of the students, I think the district has an obligation to at least investigate,” he said. According to their website, they currently offer 31 sponsored sports from wrestling to golf to football.

One Book One Community strives to educate

For 18 years, East Lansing and Michigan State University have joined forces to provide to encourage its residents – permanent and temporary ones — to read. The One Book One Community committee selects a book for incoming Michigan State University freshmen and the local East Lansing community to read. “We meet once a week year-round and we discuss books, themes and programming,” said Kristin Shelley, the director of East Lansing Public Library, and on One Book One Community’s planning committee. “We are constantly reading and throwing titles out.”

This year, the committee decided to include the community in the selection process. “We narrowed it down to three books,” said Shelley.